Martin J Best, Ghost Hunter: I A Matter of Faith
Dealing with Fragile Souls and Demons
Malachi Hunter, landscape gardener, ghost hunter, and painfully shy, must learn to deal with his tumultuous life.
Teena Maunder has a teenage daughter and a lot on her plate, but it gets overwhelming when the supernatural invades her life.
Is it a poltergeist or something more threatening?
Ghost Hunter: I A Matter of Faith tackles several themes, from awkward conversations to full-blown paranormal horror. There is still space for romance, which allows the reader to catch his or her breath from time to time. Martin J Best writes with confidence and imagination and brings the paranormal entities to life. His human characters are life-like and engaging and it is easy to root for Malachi while following his development through the ups and downs of his life.
Ken Fry, The Magdalene Mission
Preserving The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
The biblical setting is apparent in the first chapters which are seen through the eyes of Magdalene herself.
Then the action switches to the present and we meet a team of researchers deeply embroiled in following in her footsteps.
Professor Isabella Vanton teams up with Dr Maxwell Franklin and two other researchers. They search for missing sections of Mary Magdalene’s gospel and carry on with their task, come hell or high water.
Bishop Ignatius engages Matthew Croxley to do everything in his might to stop them.
From the beginning of their travels in Magdalene’s footsteps, the researchers must fight to survive. Mr Croxley’s henchman (and woman) is relentless – and able to outsmart the hapless scientists over and over. It seems somewhat odd that this intelligent quartet of well-educated people don’t pick up the scent of their tormentors, but it could be down to their single-minded occupation with the past.
Well-written and with a plot that captivates the reader, The Magdalene Mission manages to engage but also irritate.
Mandy Lee, You Don’t Know Me
Sizzling, Erotic, and Thought-Provoking
Maya Scotton is a young talented painter with wit and intelligence. Haunted by a traumatic past, she has given up painting. To tide her over, she has taken a job at the main office of a large construction firm.
Dan Foster, dubbed hot, mean, and moody, owns the firm. He too has a secret life and a traumatic past.
When they meet sparks fly, and Eros takes the front seat.
You Don’t Know Me is a romance with an erotic undertow, but it is much more than that. Ms Lee knows exactly how to write engaging and life-like characters. Her understanding of the human psyche and her strong social and sociological insights make this book stand out.
MJ LaBeff, Last Summer’s Evil: The Last Cold Case Book 1
Intense, Nail-Biting Cold Case Chase
Homicide Detective Rachel Hood doesn’t know her own strengths, but they will make or break a serial killer.
Psychic FBI Agent Nick Draven specialises in occult crimes.
They’ve worked together before but neither knows of the unusual skills they possess.
The serial killer strikes once a year, at the Summer Solstice, and the race intensifies the nearer the deadline.
Ms LaBeff brings a hair-rising crime drama to an intense end through twists and unexpected turns. Her characters spring off the page, the protagonists as well as the fierce antagonist.
A few grammar and spelling mistakes (‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ – ‘peddling’ instead of ‘pedalling’) don’t mar the storytelling, but the overall impression would benefit from a few edits. Having mentioned that, the plot and Ms LaBeff’s overall writing skills deserve five stars.
Jonathan Rowe, Tinderspark
Cold Steel and Burning Hexen
Finn was raised among witches. Son of the ‘Dead King’, he talks to the Geists and has their knife. Finn and his Hexen siblings must survive but can’t do it alone.
Neither can Quality Durrand, whose parents have been accused by the witch-hunters. Quality, the ‘Old Smith’s Daughter’, knows about guns and black powder.
Together they are strong, but fate often separates them.
It is the burning times, the Hexen Hounds are out to catch anybody who shows the slightest supernatural mark. It is also the time of the Thirty Years’ War. Croats and Scotchmen, as well as the Germans, fight to the death.
The countryside is a wasteland, looted and burned by soldiers.
Jonathan Rowe delivers a hefty mix of fantasy and well-researched history in Tinderspark. His writing is crisp and evocative. The action springs off the pages, forcing you to live through the desperation and absurdity of a time when humanity went mad. “There is no reward for goodness in this world, but cold steel teeth and scourging fire for all of us – and it’s coming for you now!”
Compelling and spine-tingling, this is a must-read.
Natasha Blackthorn, Seduction and Surrender
Steamy, Hot, Meaningful, and Evocative
A Measured Risk
Anne, Countess of Cranfield, Fights to overcome the trauma of her husband’s death in a carriage accident. She lives with her late husband’s family but has withdrawn from society.
Jonathon, Lord Ruel, has planned his life to the smallest detail. When they meet, much happens to derail his best-laid plans.
Set in a time when there was little understanding of the workings of human minds, the plight and confusion, the erotic attraction, and the ensuing actions throw a glaring light on the period.
A Measured Risk is written with insight, compassion, and a touch of romance.
In Trust Me, Ms Blackthorne develops the characters of A Measured Risk further. Her perception and vision make a strong case for humans’ right to live and love as they must.
Rebecca Howard was once Lord Ruel’s mistress. Earlier, she learned to be beholden to her father and husband. Can she break out of her servitude and find love with an old friend?
Stephen Drake, a Baron, has a speckled past. Can he overcome it?
These two have known one another since he was eighteen and she was married to a man who didn’t appreciate her.
Their dilemma has strong undertones of unrequited lust and forsaken love.
Ms Blackthorn presents believable characters and unusual predilections. A born storyteller, she pulls the reader into the interim between Regency and Victoria’s reign.
The Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne
Lady Blaine, called Sunny but named Catriona, is the widow of an invalid. Her life and erotic cravings have never been fulfilled.
The current Baron, James Lord Blayne, cousin of Sunny’s late husband, must entangle a messy situation to find out the background of Sunny’s apparent illness.
Dr Meeker has been called in to heal Sunny, but is he the right person to do so?
Again, the reader gets drawn into a murky erotic setting, with under or overtones of violence.
Miranda Jones has been educated in the intricate courtesan vocation. Is she haughty and lecherous, or is she naïve and mostly innocent?
Adrian Sutherland, Earl of Danvers, has much reason to believe she is callous. Will he find out what is behind her frosty demeanour?
Ms Blackthorn paints a stark picture of courtesans’ dependency, their perilous life, and their need for a powerful protector. A dark tale of blackmail, violence, and dependency, but perhaps some recompense.
‘Seduction and Surrender’ is absorbing and revealing. The dark erotic character of an era has found its voice in Ms Blackthorn.
© HMH, 2023